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“Styopik and Manya”

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Evreinov, Nikolai (Russian playwright, playwright, producer, director, historian, 1879-1953), “Styopik and Manya,” translated from Russian into English by Christopher Collins,

a 20-minute comedy in English, set in St. Petersburg, Russia, a morning in early 1905,


 •  © 1973 by Nikolai Evreinov;  •  in Theater Wagon: Plays of Place and Any Place (Charlottesville, 1973), ISBN __________, in Nikolai Evreinov’s Life as Theater: Five Modern Plays (Ann Arbor, 1973), ISBN __________, and published texts also available from translator;  •  script/rights available from Dr. Christopher Collins, 1501 Rutledge Avenue, Charlottesville, Virginia 22903, U.S.A., e-mail writerkit@aol.com, telephone (home) 804-977-7912, (work) 804-760-5267, fax 804-974-7116.  •  Cited by Christopher Collins, via ftp November 1, 2000; Collins says,

 §  Dramatis Personae Styopik (Stepan Ilich) (m), 58, retired late 19th century Russian businessman; Manya (Marya Ivanovna) (f), 57, his wife of over 30  years.

 §  Synopsis “As Styopik drinks his morning tea, Manya brings a letter from their daughter. Daughter confesses that, although she loves her husband, she has fallen in love with another man and asks what to do. Styopik and Manya are distraught, but Styopik has a plan. First, he asks Manya if she is prepared ‘to throw stones’ at their daughter. He and Manya proceed from the hypothetical and metaphorical to the historical. Physical Mementos (handprops) from the past are produced. Each confesses a love affair from years ago. After concluding that there’s no telling what truthfulness in the past might have led to, they send off a reassuring telegram to daughter.

 §  Comment “Death appears either a non-speaking fifth character, or an imaginary one to whom others react. Simple scenery and traditional commedia dell'arte costumes. Doctor can wear academic gown and cap and carry an sbsurdly-large syringe. Few short songs, one with original Evreinov score. A piano would help but is not necessary. In typical Evreinov fashion, this play has its funny and well as tender and sad moments. Since 1908 in Russia,, this play has had hundreds of productions in many languages. Theater Wagon of Virginia (for whom the play was translated into English) has produced it at Scotland’s Fringe Festival and at other locations over the past twenty-five years. Recently produced in Washington, D.C. Often offered in France on a program The Paradoxes of Philandering, including other Evreinov one-act plays ‘Styopik and Manya,’ and ‘Theater of the Soul.’”

 §  Themes adultery, marriage, nostalgia, philandering, reconciliation, reminiscence, Russia, Tsarist Russia, Victorian.

See also Nikolai Evreinov’s


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Small-Cast One-Act Guide Online


the more-extensive print volumes

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